Nintendo 64’s GoldenEye 007, perhaps better known by the name, GoldenEye 64, pioneered the fast-paced first-person shooter, making it inarguably one of the most influential games of all time. As the game’s 21st birthday comes this Saturday, the game’s developers sat down to break down how the whole project came to be and finally confirmed what so many players have known to be true for years: playing as Oddjob was cheating.
Oddjob is a character who’s been in the James Bond canon for what seems like forever. Initially, when developers were building GoldenEye 64, they wanted to have each of the classic Bond’s be available. The trouble was that they’d have to shell out way more money than they had in order to make each of them a playable character. So, after settling on the fact that they could only keep actor Pierce Brosnan’s Bond in the game they also figured out that Oddjob could stay in the game as well. What’s truly infuriating about this character is the fact that he was shorter than all of the other ones, so each time the auto lock was set on him, the bullets would fly straight over his head, and in a matter of seconds he’d take you out.
“We all thought it was kind of cheating when we were play-testing with Oddjob, but it was too much fun to take out and there was no impetus from any of us to change it,” the game’s lead environment artist Karl Hilton said. “It’s definitely cheating to play as Oddjob.”
What’s amazing is that this little cheat almost wasn’t an option. Oddjob’s height really plays a role because the game is a first-person shooter. Initially, GoldenEye 64 was supposed to be, a la the original Donkey Kong, a single-player side-scrolling game. Think about it, fans of the game came within inches of not even having a multiplayer option or the benefits and inconsistencies that come with a more three-dimensional gaming experience.
“We could have put something in to stop this blatant cheating, but why not just let players decide on their own rules?” Hilton said.